Town council supports financial request for Music Week hosting bid

Tina Comeau
Published on June 4, 2014

Yarmouth’s Ryan Cook performs on stage during a previous Molson Canadian Nova Scotia Music Week NSLC Gala Awards Show in Yarmouth. Tina Comeau photo

By Tina Comeau



Yarmouth Town Council has approved a motion to financially support a bid to once again host Nova Scotia Music Week, although in future it would prefer to see a different process, from the one used this time, in seeking support when bids are submitted for major events.

The town has been asked to provide $20,000 in cash upfront and $20,000 of in-kind support if Yarmouth is successful in hosting the event. The event location is up for grabs in 2015, 2016 and 2017. If Yarmouth hosts the event more than one of these years, the commitment sought from the town would be the same amount for each year.

Yarmouth successfully hosted Molson Canadian Nova Scotia Music Week in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

While town council agrees the event is a good one for Yarmouth – it was in the past and it would be again in the future – there was some concern expressed during a June 4 council meeting that the other municipal units hadn’t been approached for support as part of the bid process. During a previous presentation YASTA, which is putting the bid together, said this hadn’t been done because they were pressed for time in preparing the bid in time for an early June deadline. Because the event would be held in the town, YASTA approached the town first for a financial commitment. The other units would be approached afterwards.

But many town councillors feel that when bids such as this are being prepared, support from all of the units – not just one ­­– should be sought beforehand, since, in the case of the Music Week event as an example, residents from the town and municipalities of Argyle and Yarmouth all stand to reap benefits of the event being held here.

They said it’s unfair that the town be asked to commit large sums of money upfront and then hope afterwards that the other municipalities will chip in to help mitigate the town’s overall cost. It was noted that some of the in-kind contribution will also costs the town money, so it’s financial support would be beyond $20,000.

Still, town council doesn’t want to see the area pass up an opportunity to try and bring back this event. It does support the bid.

“For the time of the year this event is being held, in November, our hotels aren’t full . . . so it fills that gap for our tourism industry and the restaurants,” said Councillor Phil Mooney.

Yarmouth was seen as an ideal host location when the event was held here three consecutive years because many event venues were within walking distance of each other.

Nova Scotia Music Week is an annual celebration of music in this province. The event attracts musicians, music fans, high-profile music industry professionals and media. When the event was held here in 2010 the economic impact was estimated to have been in the range of $1.3 million.